Interviews

Fantasy and Trauma: Dan Stone on Writing the History of the Holocaust

In this conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Dan Stone – author of the new book The Holocaust: An Unfinished History – discusses various ways the history of the Holocaust has been misunderstood; addresses the challenges of narrating the Holocaust and clarifies his own interpretative framework; sketches the European dimension of the genocide and how…

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Taming the Anthropocene: Zoltán Boldizsár Simon and Lars Deile on a New Era of Historical Understanding

In this conversation, our guest contributor Alexandra Medzibrodszky talks with Zoltán Boldizsár Simon and Lars Deile, the co-editors of the recently published volume “Historical Understanding: Past, Present, and Future” (Bloomsbury Academic, 2022). The conversation focuses on the theory of history, reflecting on our changing perceptions of historical time; the relationship between the past, present, and future; the…

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Illiberalism and Gender in Post-communist Europe

The podcast is based on the conference and the special issue of Politics and Governance, No. 3 in 2022 edited by Matthijs Bogaards (CEU Department of Political Science, CEU Democracy Institute) and Andrea Pető (CEU Department of Gender Studies, CEU Democracy Institute).

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Building Enduring Democracies: Filip Milačić on the Effects of Nation and State Building on Democratic Consolidation

In this conversation with RevDem assistant editor Lorena Drakula, Filip Milačić – author of the book “Stateness and Democratic Consolidation. Lessons from Former Yugoslavia” – discusses the effects unresolved issues of stateness can have on the trajectories of democratic consolidation; how political actors can instrumentalize polarization in society to justify authoritarian measures; and what can…

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Beverly Gage on J. Edgar Hoover and the American Century

In this conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Beverly Gage – author of the new biography “G-Man. J. Edgar Hoover and the Making of the American Century” – discusses how Hoover built and shaped the FBI and what made him enjoy such an exceptional and long-lasting career; dissects his contradictions, reflecting on the sources of…

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New Year Special

In a special edition of the RevDem podcast, our editors Laszlo Bruszt, Oliver Garner, Kasia Krzyżanowska, Ferenc Laczo, Michał Matlak, and Renata Uitz discuss their favorite RevDem content, best books and articles they have read, most important political events of 2022 and more. At the end of the episode, they are joined by the authors…

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The Hungarian Government Became Hostage of Its Own Propaganda

In this conversation with RevDem Editor Robert Nemeth, Hungarian journalist Szabolcs Panyi talks about the Hungarian government’s response to the war in Ukraine, why it is not willing to counter Russian infiltration in Hungary, the reasons behind the anti-US sentiment of Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his inner circle, and anti-Western propaganda in Hungary. He…

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Cannibal Capitalism: Nancy Fraser on How the Global Economic Order Consumes the Foundations of Our Democracy and Society

In this conversation with RevDem Political Economy and Inequalities section co-head Vera Scepanovic, Nancy Fraser – whose newest book “Cannibal Capitalism” has just been released – explains why the ongoing crises of democracy, healthcare, climate, and racial injustice are really manifestations of a single broader crisis of capitalism; how the ability of capitalism to survive…

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How the Necessary Cold War Ended – and Why an Unnecessary One Followed It: Archie Brown on the Political and the Personal in the Relationship Between the West and the Soviet Union/Russia

In this conversation with RevDem assistant editor Iker Itoiz Ciáurriz, Archie Brown – author of the recently released book “The Human Factor. Gorbachev, Reagan, and Thatcher, and the End of the Cold War” – explains why he approaches the end of the Cold War through the study of political leaders; explores the different personal formations…

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Emancipating Jews from Narratives of Victimhood and Redemption: Susan Neiman Discusses Germany’s Current Memory Culture

In this conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Susan Neiman dissects what has made the articulation of universalistic Jewish commitments increasingly difficult in the German public sphere; explores why debates concerning global colonialism and the Nazi-colonial connection tend to be so fraught in the country; explains what post-colonial criticisms misunderstand about the intellectual heritage of…

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The Stories We Tell Ourselves — In Conversation with Peter Brooks

In this conversation with RevDem editor Kasia Krzyżanowska, Peter Brooks — author of the new book Seduced by Story. The Use and Abuse of Narrative — discusses the “storyfication” of reality; explains why we need stories; ponders the impact fiction has on our lives; and depicts the dangers oversimplified narratives pose to our democratic societies.

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How 2000 people made an impact at a time when society was silent: András Bozóki on the rolling transition of Hungary

In this discussion, RevDem Managing Editor Michał Matlak discusses with András Bozóki about his last book, “Rolling Transition and the Role of Intellectuals: Case of Hungary”, published this year by Central European University Press, which tells a compelling story of the role of intellectuals in political and social change that took place in Hungary between…

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Liberalism Hasn’t Provided Adequate Answers to Today’s Major Crises: Luke Savage on Contemporary Liberalism and Its Democratic Socialist Critique

In this conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Luke Savage – author of “The Dead Center. Reflections on Liberalism and Democracy After the End of History” – discusses key aspects of his critique of contemporary liberalism; reflects on the role of generational experiences in shaping the search for a political alternative; offers a detailed assessment…

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Why film matters: Oksana Sarkisova on the importance of documenting society

In this conversation with RevDem assistant editor Lucie Hunter, Oksana Sarkisova – Blinken OSA Research Fellow and the Director of Verzió International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival – discusses the role of filmmaking in today’s society; how festivals are reacting to contemporary global conflicts and challenges; the importance of safekeeping visual archives; and how micro-histories…

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Why Do Autocracies Last? Lucan Way on the Longevity of Revolutionary Regimes

In this conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Lucan Way – co-author, with Steven Levitsky, of the new book “Revolution and Dictatorship: The Violent Origins of Durable Authoritarianism” – introduces what revolutionary autocracies are; explains why they tend to prove much more durable than other kinds of authoritarian regimes; discusses how the revolutionary sequences so crucial for…

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The Trouble with Fortune: Zsuzsanna Szelényi on Hungary’s Tainted Democracy

In this conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Zsuzsanna Szelényi – author of the new book “Tainted Democracy. Viktor Orbán and the Subversion of Hungary” – analyzes the main characteristics of the Orbán regime and the techniques Hungary’s current rulers have employed to establish their dominance over the country’s economy; reflects on the dilemmas and strategies…

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Democracy as a Way of Facing Obstacles: Lilia Moritz Schwarcz on Brazilian Authoritarianism and the Unfinished Project of Full Citizenship

In this conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Lilia Moritz Schwarcz – author of the book “Brazilian Authoritarianism” – contrasts mythological and critical-realistic versions of Brazilian history; discusses the main facets of authoritarianism in the country; compares the Bolsonaro phenomenon with the Trump one; and elaborates on her vision of democracy and full citizenship.

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The (Re)making of Constitutional Democracy? In conversation with Paolo Sandro

In this latest RevDem Rule of Law section podcast, Oliver Garner speaks to Paolo Sandro, Lecturer in Law at the University of Leeds.  Sandro’s recently published monograph The Making of Constitutional Democracy: From Creation to Application of Law (Hart Publishing, 2022) confronts the topic from a legal theoretical perspective. Their conversation considers the practical application of his work and…

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A Path to Democracy Without Destabilization: Joseph Wong Explains the Types of Development and the Patterns of Uneven Democratization in Modern Asia

In this conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Joseph Wong – co-author with Dan Slater of the new monograph “From Development to Democracy. The Transformations of Modern Asia” – discusses when and why regimes have chosen to democratize in modern Asia; how come types rather than levels of development have shaped countries’ democratic prospects; why Singapore and China remain…

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In Conversation with John Shattuck: “Rights, if you can keep them” 

Teodora Miljojkovic interviews Professor John Shattuck, international legal scholar, diplomat, human rights leader and previous CEU rector. Teodora and Professor Shattuck discussed the book “Holding Together – the Hijacking of Rights in America and How to Reclaim Them for Everyone” by Professor Shattuck, Sushma Rahman and Matthias Riss from the Carr Centre for Human Rights…

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5 QUESTIONS to a Scholar: Jeffrey Goldfarb

This is the beginning of a new RevDem series where we talk with academics in the field of democracy studies and inquire about their most formative cultural experiences. For our first installment, RevDem Editor Kasia Krzyżanowska invited Professor Jeffrey C. Goldfarb to explain which films and books have impacted him throughout his life.

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A Global History of Hungary: In Conversation with Ferenc Laczó, Bálint Varga, and Dóra Vargha

In this conversation with Bence Bari and Orsolya Sudár, editors Ferenc Laczó and Bálint Varga and contributor Dóra Vargha discuss the new volume “Magyarország globális története, 1869-2022 (A Global History of Hungary, 1869-2022)”. The conversation focuses on some of the innovative questions posed by trying to reconceptualize the history of a Central and Eastern European…

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Davide Rodogno on the Troubled History of Western Humanitarianism

In this conversation with guest contributor Nikola Pantić, Davide Rodogno discusses his new book Night on Earth: A History of International Humanitarianism in the Near East, 1918-1930 (Cambridge University Press, 2021). The conversation focuses on the reasons why the Middle East became a popular destination for Western humanitarian agencies in the first decades of the…

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Imperialism in Russian Literature

In this conversation with our editor Kasia Krzyżanowska, professor Ewa Thompson discusses the imperialistic features of the Russian Federations; elaborates on how Russian writers advanced the imperial message of Russia, and shows  the persistence of the imperialistic motifs in the Russian literature. 

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The ‘New Europe’ Campaign: The Failure of Liberal Internationalism and the Resilience of Imperialism

Historians of the Habsburg Empire and the First World War analyze the fascinating story of Robert William Seton-Watson’s propaganda for the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the creation of a ‘New Europe.’ They historicize ideas concerning the ‘balance of power’, European integration, anti-imperialist liberal internationalism, and the making of the post-Habsburg nation-states in Central…

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Reflections of a European Man

In conversation with RevDem editor Kasia Krzyżanowska, Stefan Auer discusses his new book European Disunion. Democracy, Sovereignty, and the Politics of Emergency (Hurst&Company 2022). In a conversation, he points out to the EU hubris, discusses crises that hit the EU recently, puts into a broader context Russian invasion of Ukraine, and shares his scepticism on…

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Interrogating the Fantasy and Impact of Displacement: A Conversation with Lorenzo Veracini on Settler Colonialism as a Political Idea

In this conversation, Lorenzo Veracini reflects on key ideas in his new intellectual history of settler colonialism The World Turned Inside Out. He outlines the transnational coherence of the political sensibilities and rhetorical traditions of settler colonialism and shows how attention to ideas and practices of displacement might help us make sense of the historical…

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Local oil, global finance, and democracies without citizen-creditors: in conversation with Helen Thompson

In conversation with Vera Šćepanović, Helen Thompson explains how concentrating on energy can reshape our understanding of contemporary history, political economy, and transnational finance; discusses how international relations are simultaneously shaped by zero-sum attitudes and tacit cooperation; asks what it means when representative democracies no longer rely on ‘citizen-creditors’; and reflects on how the profound…

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What is Christian Democracy? A Book Discussion with Carlo Invernizzi Accetti

In September CEU Democracy Institute and the Review of Democracy held the symposium “The Past and Present of Christian Democracy” where leading scholars discussed the historical significance and contemporary state of Christian Democracy. The first panel was dedicated to Carlo Invernizzi Accetti’s book “What is Christian Democracy? Politics, Religion and Ideology”. The book was discussed…

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For a Democracy, It Is Vital to Be Able to Tell Facts Apart

Our editor Robert Nemeth talks to Marius Dragomir and Astrid Söderström, authors of a recent study on the state of state media globally, which covers 546 state media outlets in 151 countries in the world, and it found that government control has reached extremely high levels: nearly 80% of these state-administered media companies lack editorial…

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Mark R. Beissinger: Revolutions have succeeded more often in our time, but their consequences have become more ambiguous

In this conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Mark R. Beissinger introduces his unique global dataset and probabilistic structural approach to revolution; analyzes the prevalent form of revolution in our age he calls “urban civic”; dissects how the consequences of revolution have shifted over time; and reflects on how revolution may be changing again today.

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Maarten Prak: Democracy in medieval and early-modern towns was stronger than democracy post 1789

In this interview with Maarten Prak, hosted by Karen Culver, they discuss Maarten’s book Citizens without Nations: Urban Citizenship in Europe and the World c. 1000-1789. Maarten comments on how citizenship functioned in medieval and early modern Europe; why the term “urban governance” is preferable to “urban democracy”; how accessible guilds were at this time, and more.

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Dunstan: Black thinkers have contested the principles of democracy in ways that are central to the experience of these democracies

Sarah Dunstan in conversation with Ferenc Laczó talks about her new monograph “Race, Rights and Reform”, maps the landscape of Black activist thought across the French Empire and the United States from World War One to the Cold War; shows how gender operated in tandem with the dynamics of race and class; underlines how the end of empire connected…

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